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Changing the world, one kind & compassionate conversation at a time

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What do we mean by kindness? Do we mean: Consideration, generosity, friendly? Do we mean acts of kindness where maybe we offer assistance to someone, or do a 'good' deed, or do a favour with no thought of reward?

'Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Wise sayings often fall on barren ground, but a kind word is never thrown away.''

Leo F. Buscaglia

When we speak of kindness, do we mean only what one person does for another, or can it go further than this? Can it also be around introducing kindness and compassion into public policy?. Interesting paper from the Carnegie Trust on this.

A recent news story discussed the idea of 'hostile architecture' specifically around benches and people who are forced to sleep rough. 

If a conversation on tackling the devastating consequences homelessness can have on people included the words kindness and compassion, do we think maybe the decisions made would be different?

The UK Carnegie Trust also invited people to join a Kindness Innovation Network. The aim was to look at sharing what worked already, and what could be built onto or created which would help embed kindness in organisations, workplaces and communities across Scotland.

The Network had several 'mini-KINs' looking at specific areas and COPEScotland were delighted to be part of 'Conversations for Kindness'

Kindness and caring have been at the heart of our values since we began, the C in COPE stands for Caring.

We recognise though there is a world out there, which can often be unkind. Sometimes the behaviour of others has not been kind and that is what has led to someone needing to speak to someone, not because they have a mental illness, but because emotionally they have been hurt. In a way they find the pain hard to deal with, sometimes even hard to express, as loyalty to the person who has been unkind maybe prevents them, even sharing with friends, or, family what is happening.

Sometimes people feel the conditions they work in are unkind, the sometimes-complicated paperwork needed to be waded through to access benefits, or being referred and assessed by services, people have shared, sometimes lack compassion, people feel more processed than appreciated as unique individuals.

Changing the conversation to include kindness and compassion needs effort by everyone, sometimes we do this, one conversation at a time.

COPEScotland has a simple idea for starting 5000 kinder conversations. We have designed postcards which we are sharing with others to promote kinder conversations.

We all have it in us to build a kinder world. If you are reading this and are:

  • an employer, think can you do something kind for your staff
  • a policy maker think can we include kindness in this policy

....and as for us all, a smile is something which has no financial cost but is priceless and can change someone's day. Can we change the conversation? 

Even if it's only one kind word at a time…………..

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